Having a creative edge and knowing how to set up lights so that they create a specific mood is only a small part of a cameraman’s work. A lot of cameramen are proud of their work, especially if they’ve joined the union. With a good editor, the end result of your work can look even better before and shock your audience.
Seeing your audience reacting how you wanted them can also be somewhat over-powering. When the audience reciprocates how you intended after watching your work, a feeling of achievement comes alive inside. All the hard work dedicated to bringing a production alive is well worth it when it is mastered.
To be a cameraman means that you have to creatively design a picture in the frame-which is incredibly difficult if you think about all the aspects in the shot that have to become unified-lights, props, the whole ambiance of the shot, have to be captured appropriately. To be able to unify all these elements takes a well-trained eye and good, creative vision.
The cameraman takes longer than everyone else in the crew because they have to prep the camera. Even though there are camera assistants, cameras consist of many small, delicate pieces and must be handled with extreme care. Working on set as a cameraman means you go to work early and stay late because of the camera and how long it takes to prep.
Normally, cameras are rented for productions, and each camera comes with many little pieces, each with their own case. For this reason, the cameraman and all the various camera assistants must show up to work early and stay late. Every little piece must be accounted for and nothing can be lost or damaged otherwise it’s considered the production’s fault.
Getting your “foot in the door” as a cameraman (or any crew member for that matter) is incredibly hard and requires a lot of time, persistence and ambition. Being able to operate and put together numerous cameras is an important skill to acquire in your camera career as well so you can be quick and efficient getting ready to shoot every day of the production. Lagging is bad in production work because there is never any time to waste. The quicker and more efficient you are at putting cameras together and operating them, the more jobs you’ll attain.
Freelance camerawork, like I do, is the most difficult, as I believe, because it is never a promise. You think you’ll be working a gig two weeks from now, and then in one week, the person or production company hiring you will call you to let you know the project had been cancelled.
The majority of getting your foot in the door has to do with networking, meeting and keeping in contact with other camera people from previous shoots or random contacts you just happen to meet. Even if you’re still a student, there are a lot of people who have contacts and networking is a big deal and a big part of getting work in the film industry.
See what’s behind the obligation of the mini series camera operator at Mark Anthony Cella‘s site.
categories: camera man,music video,movie production,television,movies,film,television,entertainment